New Hat, New Genre? #guestpost from @KatyLilley #NewBeginningsForBryonyBennett

Katy Lilley-Author

I’m very pleased to welcome a lady with many names – and, it seems, many hats! I have known her as Raven McAllan before but she has recently written a book under a new name in a very different genre called New Beginnings for Bryony Bennett. I hope to be reading and reviewing it in the next few weeks, but today, I have a guest post for you by Katy Lilley and also a sneak peek from the book. If you fancy the sound of it, you can order a copy online here.

New Hat, New Genre?

No I haven’t lost my mind, honestly. It’s my way of making sure I’m in the right mind set for whatever I’m writing. I say I’m putting my Regency hat on, or whatever, and am ready to write there.

Well it works for me.

Last year I really swapped hats with a vengeance, and decided to write a Rom Com.

It was something that I’d been thinking about for a while, but shelved to the back of my mind, whilst I concentrated on other things with my Raven hat on (Raven McAllan, my hotter side.) I’ve never been one for sticking to one specific genre. I dot between Regency, contemporary, paranormal, kink or young adult, depending where my muse takes me, and who shouts loudest. And I love it all.

However I wanted to challenge myself, stretch myself and try something else. I knew Sci Fi or horror weren’t just out of my comfort zone, it was way out. I can’t read them (I’m a wuss) so I wasn’t going to write them.

Rom Com is something I love to read, and not something I’d tried to write before. I had no idea if I could write in that genre or to be honest, where to start. But I got that missed heartbeat, oh my, I have an idea, will it work, I must try sensation.

Like all writers, I have my own voice, and I had wondered if it would be suited to rom com. However, I knew I had to try or forever kick myself.

Half way through a holiday in gorgeous south Devon, I was sitting in the courtyard of our holiday home, looking out over the river, and knew I’d found the perfect place to set a rom com. And as I realised that, the story came to me.

Of course it wasn’t that simple, it never is.

I started, stopped. Reworked the beginning. Thought about it, and wrote. To my delight the words then flowed and my story took shape.

70k later, I sent it off to my beta, and then with much trepidation to the lovely people at Manatee Books.

Who to my everlasting joy, loved it.

So now my first ever Rom Com is out, and I’m half way through the second.

New Beginnings for Bryony Bennett by [Lilley, Katy]

From the back of the book

When Bryony Bennett’s godmother dies and leaves her a huge inheritance, Bryony jumps at the chance to get away from it all and start again.

She packs up her life and moves into the (almost) idyllic Cliff Cottage…only to find that starting over is never quite as simple as you imagine. Faced with grumpy neighbours, hostile locals and more than her fair share of disasters, Bryony embarks on a mission to make sure her new life is everything she wants it to be…but will she ever win over the locals and truly be happy in her new life?

Now read on for an extract

The damned green transit swayed down the lane past her entrance—still semi closed with the three barrels but not with the chain between them—that had fallen into a heap of rusty bits after the post van nudged it a few days earlier—to the field gate a bit further down the lane, where the ruts were even deeper. Someone got out, opened the gate and did the ‘get back in, drive through, get out, shut the gate and drive off’ thing. Something Bryony had seen at least twice a day, each way since she’d arrived, plus a couple of noisy times in the wee small hours. As on every other occasion, she’d been inside and by the time she got to the window to be nosy, the van was driving away. She’d never yet managed to suss out who the driver was.

This time the damned sun was in her eyes. So, was it a farmer checking his wheat or sheep were okay, or was it smugglers or booze makers? The possibilities were endless. They made for a humorous mind set as she turned in the opposite direction to the van and headed up the lane on foot. She might just start a green van sighting log book.

3 am… overloaded. That was if she ever woke up and the van was driving past and not just invading her dreams.

7.37…stuck in mud. Those ruts would be horrendous when it rained.

7.59… tractor pulled it out. Bobble hats galore.

12 noon…playing Bob Marley… Bloody hell her mind was full of rubbish. Not Bab Marley, she loved his music, but the rest.

A pheasant squawked and whirred up out of the long grass on the verge. Bryony squeaked in surprise, a bit like the pheasant, and dropped her bag.

‘Sheesh, no need to startle the natives. I’m not about to put you in the pot, as much as I am a carnivore.’ Bloody hell, as if Mop and the cats aren’t enough, now I’m talking to a bird.

‘Glad to hear it.’

‘Argh… shit…’ Now the birds were answering back.

Get a grip.

It wasn’t a bird but a bloke. The ‘drop dread, play your cards right and you can have me,’ arsy Mr Grumpy bloke of the other day. This time, his longish curly hair was tucked behind his ears and helped to anchor the sunglasses pushed up onto his crown. In one earlobe a tiny silver stud winked in the sunlight.

A stud for a stud? Oh shoot, next I’ll be drooling. Where the hell had he come from?  Did that van belong to Mr Grumpy then? If so, he deserved his nuts cracked for being so bloody dangerous.

‘You’re a liability,’ she snapped. Best to get in first with the accusations, just in case he was the driver.

‘Who says?’ He snarled back.

‘Me, if you drive recklessly like that.’

‘Like what? What planet are you on, woman? I’m on my bloody feet, no driving involved.’ He spread his arms out as if to show that. Sadly, or happily, it showed off his more than okay physique. ‘Where have I hidden a steering wheel? No, don’t bloody answer that.’

Bryony bit back the smart and non-pc answer she’d been going to give. No point in riling him further. Not without good reason, anyway. Dressed in what she decided was hot as hell denim cut offs, a black t-shirt, and deck shoes almost as disreputable as the ones she had discarded, he could have been the sort of man hot dreams were made of. If he wasn’t such a class one irritant.

‘I do. You need your licence torn up into little bits. Is it normal to scare the pants off newcomers?’ Bryony demanded, annoyed she must seem a complete wussy female. ‘You know hello, welcome, and now drop dead?’ She bit back ‘and scare them shitless and give them sleepless nights with your sodding van’. She’d said enough along those lines already.

He shrugged. ‘I’ve never scared anyone.’.’

Bollocks.

‘Who are you anyway?’ She’d get his name out of him whatever else she didn’t manage. ‘Apart from the non-friendly-neighbourhood whatever, who is allergic to people.’

He shrugged. ‘Only some. Get over your paranoia.’ His face was a blank canvas. Bryony itched to do something—anything—to change that.

Grief did he never smile? Had he had fillers or whatever and ended up with a frozen face? Didn’t things like that happen sometimes if you over did the stuff? With her hatred of needles, Bryony would rather go for a week without wine and chocolate, than contemplate voluntarily being injected with anything, thus her knowledge of such procedures was a bit sketchy to say the least.

‘Well?’

‘Very thank you.’

‘Oh for…’ If there had been anything to stamp her foot on and make a noise she would have done. Bryony clenched her hands into fists and was rewarded by the tiniest hint of his mouth twitching. Not a proper smile but maybe a softening of his bottom lip? However, he still didn’t offer his name.

‘Fine. Keep who you are to yourself. I’ll just think of you as Mr Grumpy, that’s apt.’ Bryony picked her bag up again and ignored him. He stepped in front of her. She sidestepped. He matched it. And grinned. The sort of grin that would make hundreds of women drop their knickers given half a chance. Not her though, she was made of sterner stuff. She hoped.

But, oh my goodness, that makes him so bloody different. Does he have two personas? Am I in a split dimension? Oh grief, damp knicker alert as Maisie would say.

Then, she remembered, she didn’t actually have knickers on, as she hadn’t been able to find a clean pair and the cheese grater thong her mum had given her for Christmas—‘to bring you up to date, love’—which she discovered in with the corkscrew and three dishtowels, was as useful as an ice cream in hell. That had gone on and off in record time and now resided beneath her period pants in her underwear drawer. She wouldn’t throw it out and maybe hurt her mum’s feelings, but she doubted she’d wear it, not even when she was desperate. Like now. Not desperate. She was as they said, commando, and if she were honest, rather liked it.

 

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Miss Blaine’s Prefect and The Golden Samovar by @OlgaWojtas #review @sarabandbooks

Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Golden Samovar by [Wojtas, Olga]

I have absolutely loved and chuckled my way through Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar over the past few days. Librarian Shona McMonagle received the finest education in the world at the Marcia Blaine school and therefore is one of the creme de la creme. If you are thinking that the school name sounds familiar, you are correct. It is the name of the school in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Rather than being proud of this though, Shona hates the book! She is on a personal mission to make sure nobody reads it as she thinks it suggests only the girls in Miss Brodie’s class are the creme de la creme, when everyone knows that the best education in the world was at her school and everyone attending the school had the good fortune to receive it. Now Miss Blaine has developed a time travel system to make sure people from all periods of time can benefit from her girls’ efforts to make the world a better place.

Shona is delighted and proud, though probably not surprised, to be chosen by Miss Blaine herself to go on a mysterious mission to 19th Century Russia. She has a very high opinion of her abilities and her intellect, which in anyone else would seem annoying but in Shona is both amusing and endearing. Though she wouldn’t thank me for saying so, I think there is more than a little of Miss Jean Brodie in Shona herself. There were so many funny moments throughout the book as Shona tried to discern her mission. When she meets young heiress Lidia, she is convinced that her mission must be to match her up with the beautiful Sasha, the countess’s protege, and make sure that she does not marry the much older (and shorter) General. But has she perhaps misunderstood her mission? 

Among the many things which made me laugh were the misunderstandings as Shona’s modern day speech, impeccably translated into Russian, were nonetheless misunderstood by the people around her.  ‘[Shona says] “Sausages is the boys.” He  {Old Vatrushkin] flinched, “In Scotland, you make sausages out of people?” I reflected that in some parts of Glasgow they probably did, but there was no need to tell him that.” ‘  Her pride in being a citizen of Scotland, indeed of Morningside in Edinburgh, was amusing as were the jibes at Glasgow, with whom Edinburgh has a friendly – or perhaps not so friendly – rivalry! 

This book is very witty and clever, as well as fast paced and quirky. It is packed with real laugh out loud moments, some of which I’m sure gained me strange looks as I was reading on the bus. Among a marvellous cast of unforgettable characters such as Old Vatrushkin, Nanny and of course Lidia, Shona is a heroine I loved and one I really hope we see again.

My copy of this book was purchased from Amazon. Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar is published by Contraband Books and is available now in paperback and e-book formats. At the time of writing the Kindle version is only £1.79. You can order a copy here: Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar

From the back of the book

Fifty-something Shona is a proud former pupil of the Marcia Blaine School for Girls, but has a deep loathing for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which she thinks gives her alma mater a bad name.

Impeccably educated and an accomplished martial artist, linguist and musician, Shona is thrilled when selected by Marcia Blaine herself to travel back in time for a one-week mission in 19th-century Russia: to pair up the beautiful, shy, orphaned heiress Lidia Ivanovna with Sasha, a gorgeous young man of unexplained origins.

But, despite all her accomplishments and good intentions, Shona might well have got the wrong end of the stick about her mission. As the body count rises, will she discover in time just who the real villain is?

Olga Wojtas

Olga Wojtas was born and raised in Edinburgh, and attended the school that inspired Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. She became a journalist, writing short stories on the side, and her life changed when she won a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust.

Isla & Pickle The Highland Show by @KateMcLelland #review @florisbooks @discoverKelpies

Isla & Pickle is a lovely picture book for children aged 2-5. Isla is excited to spot a notice for a Highland Show including a category for ‘The Perfect Pony’. Pickle the pony is perfect to Isla so she decides to enter him in the competition. She will face strong competition though from her friend Rosie and her well-groomed, perfectly behaved pony Belle. Pickle will have to be smartly turned out, graceful and learn how to listen carefully. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, lots can and does go wrong as you might imagine in this cheerful and funny story. Children will enjoy the bright, colourful illustrations and there are lots of details to point out and talk about. The friendship between wee Isla and her pony is clear to see and Pickle’s antics will have young children giggling away and wondering what he will get up to next. Pickle is certainly a pony who is full of character. Whatever the outcome of the competition, Isla knows that you don’t have to be perfect to be a winner!

Isla & Pickle is a delightful book, with eye-catching illustrations and is a lovely portrayal of friendship.

Thanks to Sarah Webster at Floris Books for sending me a copy of the book to review. Isla & Pickle: The Highland Show is available now. You will find it at your usual book retailer or you can buy a copy online here: Isla & Pickle

About the Book

Isla & Pickle: The Highland Show is the second picture book in a new series about a feisty little girl, a cheeky Shetland pony and their adventures. They live on a Scottish island where they get up to all sorts of mischief, led by Pickle the pony, who enjoys escaping from his field and getting very messy! Perfect for any children with a penchant for ponies, this book is full of fun in the great outdoors, with bright, humorous illustrations that are sure to make grown-ups smile and give wee ones the giggles.

 

About the author

McLellandKate2017

 

Kate McLelland is an accomplished illustrator and printmaker. She trained in illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. She is the illustrator of bestselling picture book There Was a Wee Lassie Who Swallowed a Midgie and the much-loved My First Scottish board book collection, and has received and been nominated for a range of awards.

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Perfect Dead by Jackie Baldwin #review @jackiembaldwin @killerreads #lovebooksgrouptours

Perfect Dead (DI Frank Farrell, Book 2) by [Baldwin, Jackie]

First of all, can we all just admire that fab cover! The colours and picture are so eye-catching. I loved the first book featuring DI Frank Farrell, Dead Man’s Prayer – you can read my review by clicking here. Perfect Dead can easily be read as a standalone though so don’t worry if you haven’t read the first book. There are a few references to what happened in the previous book but nothing that means you won’t understand this one.

This book starts off by immediately grabbing the attention with the prologue. A young girl is heading to get a bus home when she meets someone who she knows and goes off with them instead. Before long she realises she has made a big mistake and “a last tear tipped from her eyes. She would never see her home again.” At once I wanted to who was the person she went off, what had happened and why. Just what you need to hook you into a book.

DI Frank Farrell and the others in his team are looking into art forgery ring suspected to be working out of Kirkcudbright. A member of local art community, The Collective, who has recently been nominated for a major art prize is found dead in an apparent suicide. Human remains are found on the hills above the town, Could they be the girl who disappeared three years ago after leaving The Collective? With the art connection, are the three cases connected?

I love the main character of Frank Farrell. He is a very complex character. As well as being a dedicated and determined detective, he is also an ex- Catholic priest. Technically he is still a priest although he has been released from his duties. Once you have been ordained as a priest, you are always a priest.  His sense of vocation still guides his decision making and he is perhaps beginning to feel that call again. He has the added worry about a work colleague having serious marital difficulties. The complication is that Frank used to go out with his wife before he became a priest. Frank feels really torn between his call to the priesthood and his work as a detective and it was fascinating watching him in this book as he tried to decide where he could do the most good.

As well as having a great main character, Perfect Dead is also a cracking crime novel with plenty of surprises to keep you turning the pages. It is well paced and there is so much going on: murder, mystery, tension, danger, plenty action and even some romance. A terrific crime thriller and I do hope there are more DI Frank Farrell books to come, especially since the book ends with such a heart-stopping climax.

My thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group Tours for inviting me to be part of the blogtour. Perfect Dead is available now in e-book format and the paperback will follow in August. You can order a copy online here: Perfect Dead

From the back of the book

Each murder brings him one step closer to the perfect death.

Ex-priest DI Farrell is called on to investigate a gruesome death in rural Scotland. All evidence points to suicide, except for one loose end: every light in the cottage was switched off. Why would he kill himself in the dark?

The question sparks a murder investigation that leads to the mysterious Ivy House, home of ‘The Collective’, a sinister commune of artists who will do anything to keep their twisted secrets hidden.

And when the remains of a young girl are uncovered on a barren stretch of coastline, Farrell realises that there is something rotten in this tight-knit community. Now he must track down a ruthless killer before another person dies, this time much closer to home…

 

Jackie Baldwin

Jackie Baldwin is a Scottish crime writer. Her debut crime novel, Dead Man’s Prayer, was published by Killer Reads, Harper Collins on 2nd September 2016. The second in the series, Perfect Dead was published on 15th June 2018. For most of her working life, she has been a solicitor specialising in Family and Criminal Law. However, she now practices in Dumfries as a hypnotherapist which is where her novels are set. Married, with two grown up children, she has filled her empty nest with Golden Retrievers. She can often be found in a forest walking the dogs, covered in mud and with twigs in her hair.

 

Don’t miss the rest of the tour with these fab bloggers!

Perfect Dead Blog Tour graphic final

 

#TenThings about #author Myra Duffy @duffy_myra

#TenThings

Today Myra Duffy is joining me to share #TenThings she’d like her readers to know about her including why Bute is a very special place. I have to say, I am immediately intrigued by the first thing and want to know more!

Myra Duffy

  1. I was born in a castle, though sadly I’m not of royal blood.
  2. I still have the first novel I wrote at the age of nine -a mystery story entitled The Mystery of the Silver Heather – all 796 words of it.
  3. I won a national writing competition when I was thirteen – and the prize was a black poodle – something that would never be allowed these days.
  4. Non-fiction, including fourteen books on management, was my genre for many years and fiction had to take a back seat.
  5. My cosy crime series set on the Isle of Bute came about by chance. My husband and I have family associations with the island going back many years and one day, as we were walking along the sands at Ettrick Bay, I wondered what it would be like if there was a large, dilapidated Victorian house in the hills above the bay. What would it be like? What secrets would it hide? And The House at Ettrick Bay was the result.
  6. I didn’t choose the name of my heroine – she chose it. Alison Cameron appeared in my first published novel When Old Ghosts Meet and she moved over seamlessly to the Bute mystery series.
  7. Alison Cameron is an amateur sleuth – it’s her curiosity that gets her involved in solving mysteries. In a review of Last Dance at the Rothesay Pavilion, The Buteman newspaper described her as ‘An ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances’ and ‘Someone you could have a cup of tea with’.
  8. Local people on Bute have been very supportive, something which is important as I use many real locations in the novels. In Dark Deeds at Bute Noir (written specially for the Bute Noir crime festival which is held in August) I’ve included a number of real islanders – with their permission, of course! And I’ve been lucky to have the support of a wonderful local bookshop – the Print Point.
  9. My intention was to finish with number six in the Isle of Bute mystery series -at the end of Death at the Kyles of Bute, Alison moves to London. However, that didn’t quite work – Alison had other ideas, as did readers. I’ve now written seven novels in the series, plus three novellas and a prequel. The next one will be out at Christmas.
  10. Part of the fun of being a writer is challenging yourself by writing in different genres. I’ve recently adapted The House at Ettrick Bay as a six-part radio play for the Bute Theatre Company. Love is Another Country (a Romantic suspense) came out last year and I’ve several others in various stages of completion, including a science fiction novel, a contemporary woman’s novel, a thriller set in Spain and even a cowboy novel. What better job is there than being a writer? Love is Another Country by [Duffy, Myra]

Thanks Myra for a really interesting #TenThings. You can find out more about Myra from her website www.myraduffywriter.com and her books are available to order online. You can find all of her books listed online here.

Her Mother’s Secret by @RosannaLey #review @quercusbooks #randomthingstours

Her Mother's Secret: Escape to sunny France with the Number One bestselling author by [Ley, Rosanna]

When I open a Rosanna Ley book I know I am going to be transported to a different place. In the past couple of years I have visited Cuba through Last Dance in Havana and Sardinia in The Little Theatre by the Sea. In this book, the reader is taken to Belle-Île, an small island off the coast of Brittany. I’ve not been there, but have been to many of the other places on the mainland which were mentioned and feel the author captured the atmosphere of Brittany beautifully.

The story is told through the voices of several characters. Colette has come back to Belle-Île after many years away, returning only because her mother, Thea, is dying. Her father had died in fishing boat accident several years before and it seemed that their marriage had been affected by a secret. As well as coming back to see her mother, Colette returns to find out the truth. Etienne’s mother has recently died and he has come back to clear her house. He used to be part of the ‘summer gang’ who visited the island every year but why has he lost touch with the gang when they were once so close? Elodie is the daughter of Mathilde, who Thea used to work for as an au pair before she left the family suddenly. There is obviously some major rift between these women too which has led to their not speaking, yet Thea never left the island. There are also chapters told from the points of view of Thea and Mathilde

There is an undercurrent of sadness running throughout the book, so many past regrets. Through all the main characters you get a sense that there are many secrets to be uncovered and mysteries to be resolved. This is a book where you gradually get to know the characters and learn of their lives and secrets. The intertwining mysteries affected so many people. When the truth was finally revealed, I was taken by surprise. It wasn’t what I had imagined at all and yet the clues were there all along.

I find island settings endlessly fascinating and Rosanna Ley has written beautifully and atmospherically about Belle-Île. For some of her characters it is claustrophobic, a place to escape from but for others it is a place of safety, a sanctuary. The island is very much at the heart of the story with a smattering of French throughout adding to the authenticity of setting.

Her Mother’s Secret is compelling and beautifully written, a book to escape into as secrets are gradually revealed and characters look to the future with renewed hopes and fresh dreams.

My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to be part of the blogtour and to publishers Quercus for my copy of the book. Her Mother’s Secret is available in all formats. You can buy it at your usual book retailer or order a Kindle copy online here: Her Mother’s Secret

From the back of the book

For many years Colette has avoided returning to her homeland – the magical island of Belle-Île-en-Mer in Southern Brittany – afraid to confront the painful memories she left behind. She is living on the Cornish coast when she hears about her mother Thea’s failing health and realises that the time has come for her to go home. But can Colette ever forgive Thea for what she has done?

Despite Colette’s wariness, romantic Belle-Île still fascinates her. She takes on the running of her mother’s flower shop and makes friends with Élodie from the Old Lighthouse where Thea once worked as a nanny and with the enigmatic Étienne who shares Colette’s mixed feelings about the island. As Thea opens up to her for the first time, Colette finds herself softening and being drawn back into the landscape of her past. But can Belle-Île also be a part of her future?

The ghosts of that past still linger. What happened all those years ago and how did it cause the rift between mother and daughter? It becomes clear that the beauty of Belle-Île hides a devastating family secret – one that Colette is determined to unravel at any cost.

Rosanna Ley

Rosanna Ley has had six novels published by Quercus Books. She has worked as a creative writing tutor for many years and has written articles and stories for a number of national magazines. Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Spain and Italy. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea.

Visit Rosanna: @RosannaLey / http://www.rosannaley.com

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Somewhere Beyond the Sea by Miranda Dickinson #review @wurdsmyth @panmacmillan #TeamSparkly

Somewhere Beyond the Sea by [Dickinson, Miranda]

I’m a big fan of Miranda Dickinson’s writing and previously have reviewed A Parcel for Anna Browne (read my review here) and the prequel to this book, Christmas in St Ives (read that review here). Sometimes a book just captures your heart and this one with its mixture of sea, seaglass, stars and sky did just that.

The story is told in short alternating chapters by Seren (which is Welsh for star) and Jack. They are told in first person so you really feel you get to know them. And the thing is, although they are on opposing sides of a local community argument, you can’t help but like them both. Jack recently lost his wife, and home, and is bringing up their young daughter Nessie. He is a builder but work has dried up and money is tight. He jumps at the chance to work on big development. He is passionate about building, and wants to work with the landscape, with natural materials and to use local expertise. He feels he can respect and honour the memory of Elinor Carne, a local and largely forgotten astronomer.

Seren on the other hand is continuing her late father’s campaign to save the parsonage where Elinor lived, to protect and develop the old remains, bring the name of Elinor back into public knowledge. This is the site that Jack’s boss wants to redevelop. She is still grieving the close bond she shared with her father and trying desperately to keep his craft shop business afloat. The author lost her own father when writing this book so it’s not surprisingly that the grief Seren feels over the sudden loss of her dad is so touchingly and convincingly portrayed.

Unknown to either of them, despite being in opposition to each other, they also have something in common – seaglass. There is something special about seaglass and I also get that fizz of excitement if I find some on the beach. Jack and his daughter Ness enjoy making stars from seaglass on the beach but one day don’t have time to finish one. Seren finds the star the next morning and completes it. Young Ness is convinced it is mermaids finishing the stars!  It was lovely to read about how special the stars became for them all. It was something secret away from their everyday cares. This part of the story reminded me a bit of  You’ve Got Mail with neither knowing who the mystery person was.  Both Jack and Seren seemed to need someone or something else to complete their lives but effectively being enemies made it difficult for them even to be friends.

There were lots of lovely references to  everyday magic in the book and something that Seren’s father said to her really touched me:  “Magic is everywhere Seren, if you look hard enough for it. Life is extraordinary, if you let it be.” Somewhere Beyond the Sea is a really uplifting book about finding that magic in life, sometimes in the most unexpected places. I had a lump in my throat at the many poignant moments throughout the book and yet it also gladdened my heart. It was a joy to read. 

Thanks to the publishers Pan Macmillan for my copy of this lovely book. It was published yesterday in paperback and ebook formats. It will be available from your usual book retailer or you can order a copy online here: Somewhere Beyond the Sea

From the back of the book

Can you fall in love with someone before you’ve even met?

Seren MacArthur is living a life she never intended. Trying to save the Cornish seaside business her late father built – while grieving for his loss – she has put her own dreams on hold and is struggling. Until she discovers a half-finished seaglass star on her favourite beach during an early morning walk. When she completes the star, she sets into motion a chain of events that will steal her heart and challenge everything she believes.

Jack Dixon is trying to secure a better life for daughter Nessie and himself. Left a widower and homeless when his wife died, he’s just about keeping their heads above water. Finding seaglass stars completed on Gwithian beach is a bright spark that slowly rekindles his hope.

Seren and Jack are searching for their missing pieces. But when they meet in real life, it’s on the opposing sides of a battle. Jack is managing the redevelopment of a local landmark, and Seren is leading the community campaign to save it.

Both have reason to fight – Seren for the cause her father believed in, Jack for his livelihood. But only one can win. With so much at stake, will they ever find what they are really looking for?

Miranda Dickinson’s Somewhere Beyond the Sea is a sparkling tale of love, life and finding magic where you least expect it.

Miranda Dickinson

Miranda Dickinson has always had a head full of stories. Born in 1973 in Wolverhampton, she grew up in Kingswinford and dreamed of one day writing a book that would reach the heady heights of Kingswinford Library… Her first novel, Fairytale of New York (2009) was discovered on Authonomy.com – HarperCollins’ site for unpublished authors. Within three weeks of its release, Fairytale of New York had entered the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestsellers List, where it remained for five weeks – making it the world’s first crowd-sourced bestseller. The novel was also shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2010 at the Pure Passion Awards.

Miranda is a six-times Sunday Times Bestseller, with Fairytale of New York, Welcome to My World, It Started With a Kiss, When I Fall in Love, Take a Look at Me Now, I’ll Take New York, A Parcel for Anna Browne and Searching for a Silver Lining. Her new Christmas novella, Christmas in St Ives, is a festive treat and also a prequel to her ninth novel, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, which publishes in June 2018. She is an international bestseller in four countries and her books have been translated into fifteen languages. To date, she has sold one million books worldwide. She is currently writing her tenth novel.
Miranda lives in Dudley with her husband, Bob and daughter, Flo. She is also a singer-songwriter and recently released her first solo album, About Time.
Follow Miranda’s vlog at http://www.youtube.com/mirandawurdy and visit her website: miranda-dickinson.com
You can also follow Miranda on Twitter @wurdsmyth, on Instagram @wurdsmyth and on Facebook: MirandaDickinsonAuthor